Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson was a West Point graduate, Mexican-American War hero, Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Professor of Natural Philosophy and leader of a brilliant and aggressive campaign against Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley in 1862. A great general whose men would follow him anywhere, Jackson was disciplined, courageous, and methodical. Some say he was what we would today call a 'health nut' - following a diet and exercise routine and frequently visiting mineral springs and spas. He earned his nickname at the first battle of Manassas as a testament to his fearlessness and composure on the battlefield.

Jackson fought at Manassas, Cedar Mountain, Fredericksburg, up and down the Shenandoah Valley, and finally gave his life at Chancellorsville in May of 1863. Jackson's leadership and bold tactical moves during the Valley Campaign and Chancellorsville are studied even to this day. His grave and monument are located nearby in Lexington at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery.

Here at the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, Jackson lived with his wife Mary Anna, an enslaved cook and housekeeper named Hetty, and her two sons Cyrus and George who cooked and tended the home, its gardens and grounds. Jackson purchased two additional slaves, Albert and Amy, at their request. Albert wished to work and pay for his freedom, and Amy asked Jackson to purchase her to spare her from the public auction block. Amy worked for the Jacksons as a cook and housekeeper.

Jackson was an orphan with a limited education, yet he managed to gain an appointment to West Point where he graduated in the top 25% of his class. He became a professor at the renowned Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and was a founder and teacher at the 'Colored Sunday School' in Lexington - the only school providing formal education to African Americans in Lexington.

Owned and operated by the Virginia Military Institute, the meticulously restored Stonewall Jackson House is open daily for visitors. Here there is a museum, gift shop, film and guided tours of the home. Many of the furnishings seen on the tour were originally in the home at the time Jackson and Mary Anna occupied it. The guided tour through the home, its rooms, and its furnishings is truly a step back in time and into the lives of the Jacksons, their household and their era.

Pictured at the top: The restored ca. 1802 Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington is open daily for tours.

Stonewall Jackson's grave is located nearby in the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery.